Preparation of the Resettlement Plan for Households Affected due to the Rehabilitation of the Maradana to Rambukkana Section of the Main Line


Funded by: The Government of Sri Lanka under the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation/Sri Lanka Railways

Budget: USD 334,027.25

Implemented by: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

Partners: The Government of Sri Lanka, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Sri Lanka Railways  and Colombo Suburban Railway Project (CSRP)

Nine months (1st August 2018 – 1st May 2019)

Location: Maradana to Rambukkana



Out of the total population in Sri Lanka, 5.8 million people (28%) reside in the Colombo Metropolitan Region of the Western Province, where the annual population growth rate is 1.05%.  Majority of the Government Offices and commercial establishments operate in the CMR within Colombo City, and over 300,000 vehicles enter the CMR daily causing excessive traffic congestion.

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) intends to improve the railway system in the Western Province and the Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR) to increase the share in the rail transport mode in order to ease traffic congestion.  At present, the railway system covers about 13% of passenger transport within the CMR through long distance trains and commuter trains. The government aims to increase the share of railway in the overall passenger and freight transport substantially by improving and modernizing the Sri Lanka Railway Network in the CMR which covers four heavily congested major passenger corridors, namely, the Kelani Valley Line, the Main Line, the Coastal Line and the Puttlam Line.

To develop the above stated four major corridors, the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) and Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) are commencing the preparation of necessary projects to be considered for financing by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the Colombo Suburban Railway Project (CSRP).   This project has the capability to cater to the expected railway transport demand and services for the next 20 years.

The Main Line railway network is 291 km long which includes the 83 km section from Maradana to Rambukkana.  Within this section; Maradana to Ragama consists of three tracks while the rest of the section up to Rambukkana consists of a double track. The daily ridership within this section is approximately 100,000 with the majority of suburban trains starting either from Veyangoda or Rambukkana, serving during peak hours.

The passenger volume is expected to increase fourfold by 2035; hence the number of trains and the frequency of trains also need to be increased to cater the demand. Therefore, SLR intends to improve the Main Line by constructing a fourth track within the Maradana – Ragama section, a third track within the Ragama – Veyangoda section, and   rehabilitate the existing double track up to Rambukkana with the view of electrification, installing a signaling and telecommunication system, improving auxiliary structures and passenger facilities and construction of modernized railway stations.

The MoTCA together with SLR intends to carry out a socio-economic and asset inventory census survey to prepare the Resettlement Plans to resettle affected households and restore livelihoods of Project Affected Persons (PAPs) with the view of mitigating adverse impacts of the project.


The Assignment

An in-depth social survey for the Main Line project area is being conducted by UN-Habitat for the Colombo Suburban Railway Project of MoTCA/SLR in view of the resettlement programme. UN-Habitat has been tasked with conducting the socio-economic survey, asset inventory survey, and census survey to prepare a Resettlement Plans for the Maradana – Rambukkana section.


Main Objective of the Assignment

The main objective of the assignment is to prepare necessary documents/reports to mitigate land acquisition related adverse impacts, compensate losses, provide development benefits to the affected persons/communities and livelihood restoration, with the aim of re-establishing and improving the quality of lives of PAPs. It reflects the commitment of the government towards Displaced Persons (DPs) particularly in paying entitlements promptly, and assist them in finding alternatives for improving livelihoods. The RAP shall be prepared based on the Resettlement Framework (RF) of the project which was prepared in accordance with the laws, regulations, and policies of the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), the Safeguard Policy Statement (SPS) of ADB 2009.


Specific Tasks

  • Carry out meaningful consultations in the field
  • Conduct census, asset inventory, and socio-economic survey in the project affected area, and collect all required data
  • Identify the PAPs especially the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups
  • Identify changes in land use, restrictions of access to assets and common property resources
  • Assess risks and opportunities for affected people
  • Define categories of eligibility, identify strategies and options to restore livelihoods and quality of life
  • Preparation of Entitlement Matrix (EM)
  • Develop budget and implementation schedules for the RP

In line with fulfilling the above objectives, UN Habitat will prepare a Resettlement Action Plan for the section from Maradana to Rambukkana in the Main Line.


Approach of the Assignment

UN-Habitat will be guided by the Resettlement Framework prepared according to the relevant laws, regulations and policies of GoSL and safeguard guidelines of ADB’s Safeguard Policy Statement 2009

UN-Habitat will work closely with MoT&CA/SLR, CSRP and other key stakeholders in implementing this project. A participatory methodology will be followed where the community and the APs are engaged and their views and ideas sought, and where feasible changes to the designs will be made. Challenges and issues along with community suggestions for solutions will be communicated to the GoSL.

All stakeholders will be made fully aware of the purpose of the initiative as part of the social safeguards and principles underlying the approach. Formats developed for data collection will be discussed with the Affected People (APs). UN-Habitat will utilize a flexible and practical approach given the need to adapt to the ground situation. As such, field visits, Focused Group Discussions (FGDs), Key Informant Interviews (KII) and Surveys will be adapted to suit the local conditions.

In developing the RP, UN-Habitat will incorporate planning perspectives and ensure consistency with urban development plans that are already approved or under preparation. Concerns regarding disaster risk reduction and climate resilience will also be addressed. Where appropriate, international good practices and experiences will be shared and replicated in implementing the project.


Assignment Outputs

  • Database prepared with information of PAP
  • Socio-Economic Study Report
  • Resettlement Plan with Entitlement Matrix


Expected Accomplishments

  • Communities in target locations are consulted and their needs and aspirations are considered in the resettlement options offered.
  • Sustainable settlement planning for the affected community offering improved and resilient measures, and improved community infrastructure facilities.
  • Improve awareness on the participatory process among all stakeholders engaged in the resettlement process.
  • Preparation of the Entitlement Matrix to offer compensation for various PAP categories
  • Design Grievance Redress Mechanisms that are applicable to the local social context.